The 6-core 3.5 GHz CPU is an outstanding performer and should be the model of choice for most everyone, as the tests show. Match the model choice to the work you actually do (never to generalized benchmarks); see the tests along with 2013 Mac Pro: How Many Cores for Your Workflow?.
Gains with other Mac Pro models for Photoshop and Lightroom are modest, or actual performance declines, though there are other applications where more than 6 cores offers some advantage. Be sure to note that the Apple 8-core 3.0 GHz offering will be somewhat slower than the CPU-upgraded 8-core 3.3 GHz shown in the tests.
My use of Photoshop is intensive (big files, hundreds of hours of use over the year), so I’m looking to squeeze out every drop of performance. So my approach is to order the 4-core Mac Pro with the intent of upgrading the CPU to the 8 core 3.3 GHz.
Given recent support in Photoshop CC for the GPU with huge speed gains in certain areas, I’ve also ordered the 4-core Mac Pro with the D700 GPUs. I deem the odds low for meaningful gains over the D500 GPUs, but given my intensive usage, it’s a cost I’ll incur.
As for order status of the above, Apple just sent a notice saying in essence “we don’t know when it will ship, but it will be in February as stated nearly 4 weeks ago”. It seems odd for Apple’s well-honed supply chain excellence to have such a vague grasp of delivery time frames. The message just feels frustrating by being so vague.
Dear Lloyd Chambers,
Thank you for your recent order. We know you’re excited to get started with your new Mac Pro, so we’d like to give you a quick update on the status of your order.
Your Mac Pro is scheduled to ship in February. When it does ship, we’ll email you with a more specific delivery date.
For the most up-to-date delivery information, visit Order Status on the Apple Online Store. If you have an iOS device, you can check your order status using the Apple Store app for iPad or iPhone.
We appreciate your patience and look forward to getting the new Mac Pro to you as soon as possible.
The Apple Online Store